7 Tips for Creating a Spa-Like Bathroom

Going to the spa is an expensive proposition—not to mention costly in terms of time. Bringing the relaxation of the spa to your own home, however, means that you can kick back and relax whenever you like. A simple bathroom redesign can be enough to completely change the way your bathroom feels, leaving relaxation just a few steps away when you need it most.

Less Is More
When creating a restful, relaxing space, start by decluttering. Clear your bathroom of all those visual distractions that make it so hard to simply close your eyes and take a few slow, deep breaths. This is particularly true when it comes to unused toiletry products. Give yourself permission to throw away products that you don’t like, don’t use or that turned out to be not “right” for you. Instead, invest in a few simple, quality products that you really love. Can’t bring yourself to part with your lotion collection? Tuck it out of sight where the clutter won’t distract you from your goal of relaxation.

Calming Colors
Your bathroom color scheme should be designed to inspire relaxation. Try a nature-inspired look that uses natural tones to create the effect you’re looking for. A calm, peaceful room can use rich browns, peaceful sky or ocean-colored blues, or a variety of greens to help you relax as soon as you walk inside.

Don’t Ignore the Flooring
A wood flooring is a great way to add to that rustic feel, but it’s not a great choice in your bathroom because the dampness can cause problems. Instead, try a faux wood tile that can be designed to match any bathroom color scheme. Choose a flooring that will feel great under your feet, helping relieve the tension of a long day’s work.

Decorative Tile: Just the Right Touch
Tile designs within our bathroom can add the perfect decorative touch. It should be subtle, to help inspire relaxation. Your tile, however, can also add unexpected elements to your bathroom décor or create a focal point to help add to the design. Click here for some tile inspiration.

Watch the Lighting
Many bathrooms have harsh lighting. When you’re putting on your makeup or styling your hair, you might need that extra touch of brightness. When you’re heading into your bathroom to relax, however, you don’t need a glare that pierces your eyes even when they’re closed. Install a dimmer switch or include softer lighting options so that when you’re relaxing in your bathroom, you can fully enjoy every aspect of the experience.

Invite Mother Nature Inside
Even if you have a black thumb instead of a green one, plants are pretty easy to keep alive in a bathroom. Try an aloe plant or bamboo for a pleasing, relaxing look that will help purify the air, allowing you to breathe deeper as soon as you set foot in your bathroom. Philodendrons are also a great option.

Don’t Forget Scents
Using aromatherapy in your bathroom is the perfect final touch for your spa experience. Choose a scent that appeals to you and will help you relax every time you smell it, and try to use that scent across several products. Essential oils in a diffuser are one great way to create a scent you’ll love, but you can also use it across your lotions and soaps to help create the ultimate spa experience while leaving your skin soft and moisturized. You might try wild vanilla or mix in a fruity cherry blossom; you can also try sweet florals like jasmine and rose. For a more traditionally relaxing scent, you can’t go wrong with lavender, while eucalyptus will help clear your nose and increase your energy.

Getting the relaxing experience you deserve doesn’t have to be costly. In fact, you might never need to leave the comforts of home! Enjoy your spa bathroom whenever you like, taking advantage of the serenity of your new design to de-stress after a hard day or increase your energy when you need it most. The changes don’t have to be difficult or costly. Sometimes, a little time and effort is all that’s needed to transform your bathroom permanently.
By Fay Wein


Call Shelley at 303-521-7085

Gentrification: How to Identify Promising Markets

First come the hipsters, then the middle class and finally the Michelin-star gastropubs. These are just some of the trademarks of gentrification, according to Tranio, a trend that can be very profitable for local property markets but only if you can figure out when it will happen. As a general rule, property price growth varies within a city. While some markets can double in a few years, others can actually lose value during the same time.

This urban renewal process turns deteriorating neighborhoods into new affluent districts where property prices rise faster than vintage pop-up stores can open. While the lower-income residents are gradually forced out, they are rapidly replaced by the trend-setting urban elite.

A classic example of gentrification is the development of Williamsburg, a New York neighborhood in Brooklyn. Williamsburg, a 19th century shipyard and industrial zone, is now one of New York’s most expensive and upmarket property markets. Real estate price growth between 2001 and 2015 was so strong that it even overtook Manhattan. The gentrification process rapidly extended beyond this small neighborhood to much of Brooklyn: a process now known as the “Williamsburg effect.” Once an influential cultural hub (nicknamed “Little Berlin) for music and art in the 2000’s, Williamsburg is now considered a “mainstream Mecca favored by New York City’s elite” according to Daily Mail journalist, Simon Cable.

Five neighborhoods of Brooklyn have demonstrated stronger price growth than Manhattan and New York City as a whole over the last 15 years. However Brooklyn is home to over 60 different neighborhoods, which explains the price growth difference (see chart below). It also leaves room for the process of gentrification to continue.




Identifying Growth Potential

Certain factors are precursors to gentrification and thus, price growth. If you want to find yourself the next Williamsburg, look out for the following:

Central locations. The first neighborhoods in line for gentrification are the districts closest to the city center, or that have good transport links to it. Prices grow fastest in top locations, pushing people further out into more affordable neighborhoods. This creates demand, which in turn leads to price growth. The wave of higher income and educated inhabitants contributes to improved living standards in the area.

Urban renovation. When the authorities of West Chelsea in New York announced the conversion of an abandoned rail track into the High Line Park, prices in the neighborhood spiked. During the 18 months before construction began (in 2006), property prices in the area grew by 64 percent, while prices in New York City gained 25 percent overall, according to major U.S. property portal Zillow.

Transport projects. Prices in New York’s Upper East Side went up after a new underground line construction project was launched. When construction started in 2007, the rest of the city was already feeling the burn of the financial crisis, however prices grew on the Upper East Side. They gained 15 percent during the first year of work, even though prices throughout the city fell by 2 percent. Property prices actually grew at double the rate of New York City’s average in the years leading up to the opening and since 2014, prices have risen by 24 percent, compared to 13 percent throughout New York.

New hotels, businesses and shopping centers. In late 2003, the Time Warner Center opened near the Columbus Circle roundabout, re-launching demand and price growth thanks to its multitude of restaurants, bars and shops. Property gained 62 percent in value over the following two years, compared to 27 percent on average in the city.

Renewed popularity with the upper class. Bedford–Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, second only in price growth to its neighbor Williamsburg, used to be a prominent African-American community for nearly a century. However, as more artists were forced out of Williamsburg and Manhattan, prices rose. Currently, property developers and buyers are rediscovering a neighborhood filled with authentic brownstone townhouses. “Bedford-Stuyvesant also has perhaps the largest collection of intact and largely untouched Victorian architecture in the country, with roughly 8,800 buildings built before 1900,” says local broker, Morgan Munsey, as reported by the New York Times.

Where Next: Think Bronx, Not Brooklyn

Much of New York has already been gentrified but there are still a few neighborhoods with potential. One could suggest “Bay Ridge” in Brooklyn where property prices are approximately 15 percent lower than the borough average, but also rents are growing at 3 percent under inflation according to Business Insider, which detracts from investment potential.

In Brooklyn, “a resident would need to devote 98 percent of the median income to afford the payment on a median-priced home of $615,000,” reported Bloomberg news agency.

Located on the outskirts of Brooklyn means that Bay Ridge will no doubt be a late bloomer in terms of gentrification, possibly a mid-term prospect. In the meantime, Brooklyn may be associated with a hipster image, but it was actually declared the most unaffordable housing market in the U.S. in 2015.


The South Bronx, bordering on Manhattan, has potential. Prices there are lower than in New York, and the authorities plan to develop commercial and residential areas that will boost quality of life in the neighborhood.

Queens is a cheaper option compared to Brooklyn, and with new hotels, parks and shopping malls popping up around Jackson Heights and Jamaica, prices are also rising. Local media puts the Ridgewood neighborhood as first in line for gentrification, mainly thanks to good public transport links and easy access. It borders on Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood where prices have already increased considerably, and should therefore benefit from the Williamsburg effect extending outside of its native borough.

Gentrification is not an easy process to predict, but is largely defined by proximity to the center, transport access and amenities. While Bay Ridge in Brooklyn is a no-go for the moment, the rapid growth of new technologies and new attitudes to work will no doubt see it prosper in coming decades. In America last year, companies with up to 50 employees were doing the most hiring, and often these businesses have a highly flexible approach to office-based work. Experts believe that in the next 20 years, there will be far more distance workers and freelancers who will be free to choose the best property for their budget and lifestyle, rather than proximity to major business districts.

This post was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Check the blog daily for real estate tips and trends.

By Yulia Kozhevnikova, Tranio.com


Call Shelley at 303-521-7085


Spring Buying Season Starts Early

Residential real estate is off to the races with spring home buying season velocity driven by strong demand and slight inventory growth, according to realtor.com®’s preliminary analysis of February data. Housing inventory is moving six days faster than last year and four days faster than January. Median listing prices are also up, clocking in at $230,000, an eight percent increase from last year and a one percent increase from last month.

“It looks like the groundhog was correct—spring is coming early this year, and not just when it comes to the weather,” says Jonathan Smoke, chief economist of realtor.com®. Early readings on February inventory and activity indicate that the spring home buying season has begun. We don’t usually see this type of acceleration until March or April. On a local level, the acceleration is really dramatic with nine of the top ten hottest markets shaving three weeks or more from their median age in January.”

The median age of inventory is now estimated at 96 days, which is down six percent year over year and four percent from January. Median listing price for February is estimated at $230,000, up eight percent year over year and one percent from January. Listing inventory is down 4 percent year over year but has begun its seasonal increase of one percent month over month.

Realtor.com®’s Hottest Markets receive two to five times the number of views per listing compared to the national average.  In terms of supply, these markets are seeing inventory move 44-78 days more quickly than the rest of the US.  They have also seen days on market drop by a combined average of 32 percent month-over-month or an average of 22 days.

California dominates the list again this month with eight of the top 10 markets, while Florida, Texas and Colorado feature multiple markets.

San Francisco retains the first spot this month, as California maintains its dominance with eight of the top 10 markets and the majority of the top 20. Boulder, Colorado Springs, Portland and Eureka-Arcata-Fortuna are new entrants to the top 20.  Santa Cruz-Watsonville, Boulder, and Portland were the biggest gainers, moving up 11, 8, and 7 spots respectively.  Colorado joins California and Florida as having multiple markets in the 20 hottest markets.

For more information, visit http://www.realtor.com.



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Total U.S. Housing Starts Projected to Hit 1.23 Million in 2016

The fourth quarter update indicates U.S. housing starts are expected to advance gradually to hit 1.23 million this year, with 819,000 of those being single family homes as defined by the Commerce Department, according to the Metrostudy release of the fourth quarter 2015 Home Building Outlook detailing housing construction trends nationwide.

Multi-family housing starts are expected to increase to 418,000 as the rental market continues to exhibit strength. Metrostudy’s proprietary survey database, which consists of data from over 100 CBSAs and consists of hand-counted lots and newly occupied homes, indicates move-ins were 7.5 percent higher in the fourth quarter of 2015 than a year earlier, while new housing starts rose 12 percent.

Nationwide new home sales as defined by the Commerce Department are expected to increase 18 percent to 590,000 this year, up from the preliminary 501,000 reported in 2015. New home sales saw a sharper peak-to-trough decline than overall housing starts, and from trough to 2014 did not increased as much, resulting in a statistical catch-up.

The best overall new home markets are Denver, San Francisco, Sarasota/Bradenton in Florida, and Charleston, S.C., in terms of health and local new home sales forecast. The Sunbelt dominates in terms of sales volume, with the largest new home markets expected to be Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, and Atlanta.

“The U.S. housing market continues to gradually expand,” says Brad Hunter, Chief Economist of Metrostudy. “We expect steady growth for the next several years, with slower price gains in the new home sector.” Mark Boud of Real Estate Economics, a subsidiary of Metrostudy, also observes, “Some in our industry have voiced concerns about economic problems in China impacting the housing market, or high new home prices restricting demand. We recognize those factors may have some impact, but it will be not be significant enough to prevent our forecasted expansion in construction.”

For more information, visit http://www.Metrostudy.com.

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Highlands Ranch Market Statistics for the Week

The median list price this week in Highlands Ranch is $707,500. The average price per square foot is $190. The average days on market was 104.
17% of the properties on the market had a price decrease. 14% of the properties were relisted.
The median house size is 3,970 and the median lot size is .25- .50 acres. The median number of bedrooms is 4.

Did you know that Shelley Bryant specializes in Lone Tree Real Estate and luxury homes and has a niche of selling homes that didn’t sell the first time they were on the market.
Villa Realty serving Lone Tree and Highlands Ranch